Keeping Pets Healthy with Farm-to-Table Food
Dan Levenson January 25, 2021
We love our furry companions and want them to be as healthy and happy as possible. One of the best things you can do for your pet is to feed them a fresh diet. Oftentimes, even grain-free and supposedly “all-natural” commercial pet foods still have unhealthy fillers.
Instead of wasting money on this food, consider making your own from clean, farm-to-table ingredients.
What is Farm-to-Table?
As the name implies, buying farm-to-table simply means getting ingredients directly from local farmer’s markets instead of grocery stores. In addition to fresh vegetables, you can also buy beef and chicken from these markets. Livestock from local farms often has better living conditions and diets than factory farms, which makes for better quality meat.
Buying from locally-sourced farms is also more responsible because you’re giving money to a small business. Depending on where you live, the natural ingredients from these farmer’s markets may be cheaper compared to a chain grocery store. The dishes you can prepare from these ingredients will also likely last longer than a bag of commercial pet food.
The Dangers of Commercial Pet Food For Your Pets
Dry kibbles are very convenient, but they don’t always have the best ingredients. Meat meal or meat by-products is often one of the first ingredients listed on the label. This refers to parts of the animal that aren’t packaged for human consumption, like beaks or extra fat. These components are then rendered under high heat and reduced to a powder.
While leftover animal parts aren’t necessarily bad, the meal also has to be cooked at high temperatures multiple times. Doing so kills many of the nutritional benefits of the meat itself. These hard, salty kibbles can also dehydrate your pets and force them to drink more water, which could lead to kidney damage.
Dry pet food also has more carbohydrates than any animal needs to eat. Dogs need some carbs because they are omnivorous, yet the average dog food has a minimum of 46% carbohydrates. Dry food has been linked to obesity in both dogs and cats, which could also develop into diabetes. Canned food often has more moisture and protein, but it’s still packed with preservatives to extend its shelf life.
Is it Hard to Make Your Own Pet Food?
Fortunately, homemade pet food is easy to make, even if you’re not skilled at cooking. For dog food, all you need is ground meat, rice, and a stockpot where it can simmer. You can also throw in some hearty veggies like sweet potato or zucchini.
Unlike dogs, cats are completely carnivorous, so their food should be primarily meat-based. However, it’s recommended to add sweet potato or pumpkin to ensure that your kitty gets enough fiber. It’s also completely fine for cats to eat raw meat, which saves you cooking time. For both dogs and cats, you should also add a multivitamin supplement.
Benefits of Homemade Pet Food
Just like humans, eating clean ingredients often aids your pets’ digestion. Additionally, eating a natural diet has been shown to increase the lifespan of your pets.
Best of all, making your own pet food gives you peace of mind about the quality of the ingredients. Cats and dogs with food allergies often go years eating commercial pet food that can trigger itching and sensitive stomachs. You made the food yourself, so you know there are no harmful additives.
Keeping Your Pets Healthy
Homecooked pet food is great, but it can’t prevent every health issue your furry friend may experience. Pet insurance can help cover essential medications your pet may need later in life, as well as emergency vet visits. To learn more about pet insurance plan options, contact us today.